Sunday, 2 August 2009

Cat in South Africa

Catharine is in South Africa for two months on work experience. She met up with Aletta (used to teach in Guernsey, now living in Johannesburg) and Karyn (from Port Elizabeth, still teaching in Guernsey).

She is working with the “Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands” (LADA), a project begun in 2006 with a general aim of providing informed policy advice on land degradation. The six pilot countries of Argentina, China, Cuba, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia are participating in the project along with their national institutions and the different actors involved in implementing this initiative include United Nations Environment Programme, (UNEP) Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) as well as the University of East Anglia/Overseas Development Group. (UEA/ODG) The LADA project aim is to develop and implement tools, strategies, and methods which can be used to assess the extent and severity of land degradation as well as looking at the biophysical and socio-economic driving factors. She works with the Agricultural Research Council on local assessments which involve visiting 3 different villages in the Limpopo province and assisting experts in taking detailed water, soil, and vegetation samples as well as interviewing key informants, Agricultural Extension Officers, and local chiefs, conducting livelihood assessments and wealth rankings. The information will then be compiled and reports written up to assess the land degradation in that area and what the key drivers for this might be.

And she has also visited Kruger National Park in the course of her work, as well as meeting many new people, experiencing church in SA... can't be bad!

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